Don’t Write an Email—Close Your Browser!

by on December 20, 2009 · 7 comments

If you don’t like sharing information about your interests with content publishers so they can sell advertisers a chance to win your attention, your remedy is closing your browser. It’s that simple.

But writer Kevin Kelleher has an economically challenged piece on suggesting that Internet users should try to charge content providers money.

He says users should email web companies the following terms: “By collecting, storing, selling, trading, reselling or exploiting for any commercial purposes any information about me, your site agrees to pay me a licensing fee of $100 per month.”

That’s a non-starter from the get-go because users might be worth $10 per year, depending on the company. Negotiating a deal where your use is actually tracked, a price is negotiated, and a payment is securely made would be more privacy invasive than the current state of affairs.

And that model has already been tried. It was called If ad rates rise again, an “infomediary” might be viable again, but we won’t get there with a silly “campaign” to undo the interest-data-for-content deal.

If you don’t like it, you can just close your browser, or pick carefully among the services that don’t use advertising (like Twitter, so far). That’s a perfectly acceptable choice, and life can be lived well without free Internet-based content.

So, go ahead! Live your values! Walk your talk! Close your browser.

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